Every business owner knows that referrals are an awesome way to gain new business. One of the most effective ways to earn referrals is through the use of a systematic referral program. There are two reasons why referral programs are such a good idea for business owners.
- Saving time and money – by clients referring you to prospects, you save time and money which you can use to grow the business.
- Improved interactions – communication is always the most important
element to a long-lasting
relationship. Referral programs allow you can stay in touch with clients and continue to nurture relationships
A business needs a solid referral program to help grow and boost its
bottom line. However, achieving success with such programs requires some serious thought, thorough planning and follow-up
Here’s are my top tips for running effective referral programs:
Start with a Plan
How can you reach your goals if you don’t know where to aim? Before kicking off a campaign, create a plan that includes:
- Goals – increased sales, increased subscribers – something realistic to obtain
- Target audience
- Rewards and incentives – for example, “refer a friend and get 10% off your next purchase.”
- Relevant tracking tools
Don’t Be Scared to Ask for What You Want
It’s part of my philosophy that customers want to refer you. This should always be considered as part of your customer journey. Since customers want to refer you, it won’t take much convincing to get a referral. All it takes is for you to ask.
Don’t Forget to Show Appreciation
Referral programs can thrive without you even offering some type of reward. However, offering incentives can speed up the process and massively encourage existing customers to refer people they know, be it colleagues, acquaintances, friends or family.
Build Your Networks
It’s important to remember that sometimes nothing happens until you make the first move. That being said, get out there and connect with people and companies who will give you referrals. You can get to work building your networks both online and offline.
Try Offering an Exchange
You’ve heard the saying, “love is all about give and take,” right? Well, I think that applies to referral programs too. If you want your campaign to get ahead, approach companies and people in your niche and offer them an exchange. That means they will recommend your business to their customers and you will do the same.
Track the Progress
Such programs can only be successful and continue to be a success if they are continuously tracked. That’s why you need to consider the tracking tools you’re going to be using during the planning stage.
As you track your progress, you can see where most of the referrals are coming from and the types of incentives that are bringing the most action. Use all of this information to adjust the campaign and reap even better results.
Work for Referrals
As I said above, your customers want to refer you and your business. Sometimes it just takes an effectively run referral program to bring in those high quality leads through referrals. It all begins with a great strategy: that’s what the most effective referral programs have in common.